A multiple energy imaging system that can extract multiple endogenous or induced contrast materials as well as water and bone images would be ideal for imaging of biological subjects. The continuous spectrum available from synchrotron light facilities provides a nearly perfect source for multiple energy x-ray imaging. A novel multiple energy x-ray imaging system, which prepares a horizontally focused polychromatic x-ray beam, has been developed at the BioMedical Imaging and Therapy bend magnet beamline at the Canadian Light Source. The imaging system is made up of a cylindrically bent Laue single silicon (5,1,1) crystal monochromator, scanning and positioning stages for the subjects, flat panel (area) detector, and a data acquisition and control system. Depending on the crystal's bent radius, reflection type, and the horizontal beam width of the filtered synchrotron radiation (20–50 keV) used, the size and spectral energy range of the focused beam prepared varied. For example, with a bent radius of 95 cm, a (1,1,1) type reflection and a 50 mm wide beam, a 0.5 mm wide focused beam of spectral energy range 27 keV–43 keV was obtained. This spectral energy range covers the K-edges of iodine (33.17 keV), xenon (34.56 keV), cesium (35.99 keV), and barium (37.44 keV); some of these elements are used as biomedical and clinical contrast agents. Using the developed imaging system, a test subject composed of iodine, xenon, cesium, and barium along with water and bone were imaged and their projected concentrations successfully extracted. The estimated dose rate to test subjects imaged at a ring current of 200 mA is 8.7 mGy s−1, corresponding to a cumulative dose of 1.3 Gy and a dose of 26.1 mGy per image. Potential biomedical applications of the imaging system will include projection imaging that requires any of the extracted elements as a contrast agent and multi-contrast K-edge imaging.

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